MASSENA A local spokeswoman for Alcoa said the companys decision, announced Thursday, to postpone modernization at its Baie-Comeau smelter in Quebec has no impact on either of the two plants in Massena.
Yesterdays release about Baie-Comeau doesnt have anything to do with Massena or our project. Its about the status of that plant, Laurie A. Marr said.
In a release posted on the companys website, Alcoa announced it was postponing the planned modernization of the Baie-Comeau smelter until 2019. The work originally had been planned for 2016.
Alcoa announced today it is postponing construction of a new potline at its Baie-Comeau smelter in Quebec as part of a revised modernization plan for the smelter, but will begin preparations for the upgrade by investing $100 million in the smelter over the next three years and by permanently closing the plants two Soderberg potlines, the release said.
According to the release, the reason for the decision was current market conditions.
Ms. Marr confirmed that Soderberg potlines are also in use at Alcoas East plant.
Thats why the modernization project is planned at East, to modernize the plant to more updated smelting technology, she wrote.
The two potlines in Quebec are scheduled to be closed by August.
The release indicated the closure of those potlines is part of a review of 460,000 metric tons of smelting capacity that the company is conducting over the next 15 months.
The review will include facilities across the Alcoa system and will focus on higher-cost plants and plants that have long-term risk due to factors such as energy costs or regulatory uncertainty, the release said.
In a May 1 statement, Alcoa Global Primary Products President Chris Ayers said, Because of persistent weakness in global aluminum prices, we need to review every option to maintain Alcoas competitiveness. Any action taken will only be done after a thorough strategic review and consultations with stakeholders.